Chicago’s Greektown Celebrates Christmas Season

December 14, 2018

CHICAGO – The weather may be nippy, but that didn’t stop members of the city’s Greek-American community and friends from gathering for festivities on S. Halsted Street.

Celebrating the holiday season in Greektown, The National Hellenic Museum hosted Greek dance performances and children’s activities. Meanwhile, situated under the Greektown temple structures, with a breathtaking backdrop of Chicago city’s skyline, children sang traditional “kalanta” Christmas carols in anticipation of the lighting of the Greektown Christmas tree.

“We’re working very hard…to preserve the cultural depth here in Greektown and we are succeeding with the museum and other activities, but this is an activity that has gained nationwide acclaim,” said Dean T. Maragos, advisor to the Greektown Special Service Area.

Fathers Apostolos Georgiafentis of St. Demetrios in Chicago and Chrysanthos Kerkeres of St. George in Chicago commenced the ceremony with prayer. Students of Solon and St. George Greek schools then joined pianist Marika Panton’s tunes, singing traditional Greek carols, starting off with “kalin esperan arxontes.”

“Kala Christougenna” said 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr. “This is the season of remembering to give, to help, and to love people, and we should not remember that only this season, but throughout the year,” he said.

The crowd counted down to the lighting of the 2018 Greektown Christmas tree, which took a moment to glow, prompting the comment “it’s running on Greek time.” The tree stands next to a handcrafted “karavaki” Greek Christmas boat.

Honorable guests included longtime Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, who came to cheer on the children, and wish Greektown a Merry Christmas. “It’s an honor for me to be here in Greektown where I normally get a lot of liquid and gastronomical appeasement,” White said. “Behind me are these wonderful young people who are going to help run this great country of ours. It’s important for us to do all we can to make sure that they become properly educated so that they can go off into the world and make this world a better place for all of us,” he said. 

The carolers and their fans continued their night walking up S. Halsted Street, spreading holiday cheer to local businesses including Ambassador Public House and Artopolis Bakery Cafe and Agora.


ATHENS - It’s been 83 years since Greece declared war on Albania, the occupying Italian army there using sites to fire shells at Greek soldiers who pushed them out - at a cost of 8,000 of them killed - and now new battles have erupted, politically.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


Greek, Turkish Leaders Signal Markedly Improved Ties Between the Two NATO Allies (Video)

ATHENS — After several years of strained relations that raised tensions to alarming levels, longtime regional rivals Greece and Turkey made a significant step Thursday in mending ties during a visit to Athens by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

NEW YORK - For nearly a decade, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has helped the New York City Police Foundation (NYCPF) support the people on the front lines of making New York City a safe place for all to live, work, and visit.

NEW YORK – New York State Assemblyman Michael Tannousis (R, C – Staten Island/Brooklyn) released the following statement on December 7: “After leading a bipartisan effort last month to denounce the cancellation of a 250-person school safety agent class, I’m happy that the Mayor’s Office has now changed course and is hiring additional school safety agents.

ATHENS – A press conference was held on December 5 for the Acropolis Museum’s new exhibition titled ‘Meanings’ (‘NoHMATA’): Personifications and Allegories from Antiquity to Today.

LONDON (AP) — Benjamin Zephaniah, a British poet, political activist and actor who drew huge inspiration from his Caribbean roots, has died.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.